Red Virginia, Red Congress?

Republicans hadn’t won a statewide office in Virginia in 12 years. On Tuesday night, voters made Virginia red again. Could this be a sign of things to come for the 2022 midterm elections?

Virginia voters returned Republicans to the governor’s, lieutenant governor’s, and the attorney general’s offices and gave them back the House of Delegates.

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin defeated former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe 50.9 percent to 48.4 percent. President Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points. Lt. Governor-elect Winsome Sears defeated Hala Ayala 50.99 percent to 48.90 percent. Delegate Jason Miyares ended Mark Herring’s term as attorney general 50.63 percent to 49.29 percent.

According to exit polls, 24 percent of voters said education was their top issue. Thirty-three percent said the economy and jobs were their top issues. More white Virginians voted in this election compared to last year.

Democrats have reason to worry about the 2022 midterms. From Fox News:

Tuesday’s election in Virginia, a one-time battleground but still competitive state, is seen as a key barometer ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans aim to win back control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where the Democrats hold razor-thin majorities.

And Republicans see Youngkin’s emphasis on tapping into the anger of parents over decisions by their local school boards as a blueprint of how to run campaigns in next year’s elections.

Virginia was a flashpoint in the debate surrounding “critical race theory,” which leftists claim isn’t being taught in government schools while defending the idea of teaching it. Parents in Loudoun County, in particular, were highly upset about it and made their feelings known at school board meetings.

These parents were the target of a letter the National School Boards Association sent to President Biden asking him for federal help in dealing with threats of violence, and compared parents to domestic terrorists. Republicans in Congress are still waiting for Attorney General Merrick Garland to withdraw his memo directing the FBI to investigate parents.

Youngkin said the state is going to “embrace our parents, not ignore them. We’re going to press forward with a curriculum that includes listening to parents.”

Terry McAuliffe said he doesn’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach.

To add to Democrats’ foreboding, Youngkin won without making the election about former President Donald Trump, although McAuliffe tried to and failed. The same tactic might not work for Democrats in 2022. They’re going to have to dig into their bag of tricks to come up with something else.

Photo credit: PBS video screenshot

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